On the Couch with Police Commissioner Grant Stevens

IPAA's ‘On the Couch’ Chief Executive Series are informal Chatham House Rule interview sessions where a high achieving, inspirational individual is informally interviewed by a peer about their public sector ‘journey’, their experiences and why they have chosen their career and current role. Since its inception the IPAA SA ‘On the Couch’ series has acted as the host for a very significant number of former and current public sector leaders.  

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens was informally interviewed by Rick Persse, Chief Executive, Attorney-General’s Department.


Thursday 30 July 2015


PwC 11/70 Franklin Street, Adelaide SA 5000


10:15 am (registration and morning tea) 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

This event is proudly supported by::



Police Commissioner Grant Stevens

Grant Stevens was appointed Police Commissioner on 21 July 2015 after 33 years in policing and 10 years in SAPOL’s executive team.

Notable career highlights have been as a detective in criminal investigations, developing and leading SAPOL’s response to historical sex crimes against children [Paedophile Task Force], specialist sex crimes investigation [Sexual Offences Investigation Branch] and family and domestic violence. Grant has enhanced the policing response to road safety, developing the SAPOL Road Safety Strategy, restructuring resources, and introducing performance benchmarks, Traffic Watch and Driver Drug Testing. His innovative thinking was illustrated in 2010 when Grant created and implemented an organisational wide Service Excellence Framework, focusing on responsive service delivery, neighbourhood policing and demand management.

Grant has also significantly improved South Australia’s fight against organised crime and outlaw motorcycle gangs, developing and taking the leadership role in the first national multi-agency taskforce into OMCGs. As Deputy Commissioner from 2012, and responsible for State wide operational policing and strategic and operational leadership in emergency management, Grant was SAPOL’s representative on the Australia New Zealand Counter Terrorism Committee and Chair of the ANZCTC Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Security Sub-Committee.

As Commissioner of Police, Grant is now a member of a wide range of executive Boards and Committees at State and national government levels, relating to law enforcement, emergency management, public safety, justice, road safety and community.

A keen amateur cyclist, Grant was co-founder and Chairperson of ‘Ride Like Crazy Inc.’ an annual police and public mass participation cycling event, which has raised over $1,000,000 for cancer research, prevention and treatment, as well as promoting cycling road safety.

Grant is an Ambassador and South Australia Committee Chairperson for White Ribbon Australia. He also volunteers for St. Vincent de Paul as a member of their South Australian Business Advisory Panel.

Married with five children, Grant is actively involved in his family’s sporting activities as a parent and organiser. He is also the Chairperson of his children’s school Governing Council.


Rick Persse, Chief Executive, Attorney-General’s Department

With expertise in policy development, change management, public sector reform, strategy development and project delivery, Rick’s knowledge of public administration was gained from an expansive career working at a variety of South Australian Government agencies at an executive level.

Prior to commencing in the role of CE in September 2012, Rick worked with government and non-government clients in his position at PricewaterhouseCoopers as SA Government and Health Leader; and prior to this as Executive Director, Justice Business Services, Department of Justice.

Rick spent many years in Treasury and Finance including as Executive Director, Whole of Government Shared Services Reform, where he led the establishment and delivery of the across government shared services reform.

Rick has a Master of Business Administration from the University of Adelaide and a Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Management from Griffith University.